Venue: Aalesund, Norway 2020-02-18

The first kick-off meeting of The Erasmus+ project "Sustainable development of BLUE economies through higher education and innovation in Western Balkan Countries, 609693-EPP 1-2019-1-NO-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP”, took place on 18 to 19 February in Aalesund, Norway. The two-day meeting was hosted by the project lead partner, NTNU, and it took place in the nautical department at NTNU Aalesund Campus.
First day of the meeting was opened by Oyvind Andersen, NTNU, and Arnfinn Oksavik, NTNU Ocean Training AS, who welcomed the participants from all partner institutions and it was followed by the introduction of all participants. Presentations of all partner institutions and their role in the project, preliminary plan for the first year, project organization and project management board were also discussed during the first stage of the meeting.
The meeting commenced with demonstrations of Smart City Lab in the 6th floor of the building, where participants could see and understand how a smart maritime simulation environment can assist in understanding and solving a number of challenges connected to cruise and ship traffic. Next, a presentation of AKP Blue Innovation Arena and demonstration of VR glasses for exploring a ships interior took place.
In the afternoon, two workshops were organized: One workshop focusing on WP1: State of the art on I&E in Blue economy, with P3, University of Vlore, as WP leader and the other workshop on WP7: Dissemination and Exploitation, where P4, University of Tirana, is WP leader. First guidelines regarding the future work related to these WPs were generated through group discussions.
The second day of the event started with presentations from NTNU Institute of International Business, which have several study programs that include Entrepreneurship and Innovation as part of the program. Next, it was followed by the presentation from NTNU institute of Maritime Operations and Civil Engineering (IHB) by Prof. Hans Petter Hildre, Institute leader. The meeting continued with presentation of each WP from WP leader representatives:
WP1 Preparation UV: Kristofor Lapa
WP2 Development VGTU: Milena Medineckiene
WP3 Development UoM: Danilo Nikolic
WP4 Development UNIST: Pero Vidan
WP5 Development UoM: Danilo Nikolic
WP6 Quality Plan NTNU: Oyvind Andersen
WP7 Dissemination UT: Klodiana Gorica
WP8 Management NTNU: Oyvind Andersen
The two-day event was closed with discussions regarding future activities and project implementation.

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